A young schoolboy is feared to have been abducted after a report he was taken away in the back of a van.
Surrey Police have launched a large-scale operation involving a helicopter as officers take “extremely seriously” the claim that the child – said to be aged around six – was taken into the side of the modified black Volkswagen Transporter.
A Frantic Giant mountain bike, believed to belong to the child, was left behind on the pavement in Redhill on Thursday afternoon after the van drove off.
But Surrey police have not received any reports of missing children and have dismissed a van captured on CCTV from their inquiries amid an operation “involving a significant number of officers” overnight.
Officers are now looking for a similar vehicle as they try to establish the identity of the child and investigate the suspected abduction.
A Surrey Police spokesman said: “A large police operation involving a significant number of officers and other police resources has been taking place overnight to trace the van and to establish the identity of the child.
“Reports of this nature involving children are extremely rare, which is why we are treating it so seriously.”
The boy was described as white and around 4ft, wearing a red T-shirt and navy jeans. No parent has reported a child matching that description as missing, police said.
Police are now looking for a black, modified VW Transporter van with an 02 registration plate and chrome side steps.
It has three BBS-make alloy wheels, with the front nearside missing, no rear windows and no writing on the side.
Police are appealing for anyone who was in Redstone Hill at around 4.30pm to 5pm on Thursday or who recognises the mountain bike and might have seen who was riding it to get in touch.
A spokesman said: “Local residents may be particularly concerned, but we hope our response reassures people how seriously we take any such reports of suspicious behaviour – our officers continue to work on this investigation and we will update on any further developments.”
Police are appealing for witnesses who were in Redstone Hill, Redhill, Surrey, at the time of possible abduction
Earlier, Superintendent Bex Smith said: “This is an incident we are taking extremely seriously and are asking for anyone with any information regarding the child, the van or what happened to come forward.
“If you were in the area, perhaps commuting to or from Redhill train station at the time please get in touch with us if you saw anything suspicious.
“At this stage we are not ruling out a number of options, including whether the child and the person in the van know each other.”
Anyone with any information should contact Surrey Police by calling 999 in an emergency or 101, quoting Operation Bigfoot.
Alternatively, witnesses can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
News Source TelegraphNews